Tadhg Manley – Oide agus Óglach

In June 1964, Tadgh Manley put down the chalk for the last time when he retired as a teacher in Upper Glanmire National School as it was known then. A reception was held to mark his retirement after a forty-two-year career in the school (now Community Centre). He was presented with a television on behalf of the local organisations, (White Cross Gaelic Athletic Association, Irish Countrywomen’s Association, Macra na Feirme and the Coursing Club). in addition, the female pupils presented a Waterford cut glass jug and the boys presented a fountain pen set.[1] However, Mr. Manley had a very different job before he began teaching in Upper Glanmire. He was a member of ‘B’ Company, Fourth Battalion of the First Cork Brigade and he took part in several key events during the War of Independence, 1919 to 1921.

Figure 2: Tadhg Manley pictured at his retirement from Upper Glanmire National School, courtesy of Irish Examiner.

Manley was born on 26 August 1895 in Ballinaglogh, Carrignavar, Cork; the next parish to Upper Glanmire. He can be found living in Carrignavar in 1901 with his four siblings, aunt, uncle and parents.[2] Ten years later he, his younger sister and aunt have moved to Cork city and are residing at Madden’s Buildings, Blackpool.[3] Sixteen year old, Tadgh (recorded as Timothy on the census), trained as a teacher, beginning his career in Midleton in 1917 and this is where he was living during the War of Independence.

One of Manley’s first tasks was to help remedy a major issue for the Irish Volunteers, the lack of arms and ammunition. It transpired that revolvers were easy to come by in Belfast and could be ‘bought from Italian ice cream merchants in the city.’ Thomas Waters, a native of Bantry, procured a number of revolvers and handed them to Manley who returned to Cork ‘with about a dozen precious revolvers and ammunition. The guns were later used … in the first successful barrack attack in Ireland’. [4] The ambush of Carrigtwohill RIC Barracks took place on the 3 January 1920 and according to Patrick Whelan, Manley distinguished himself thereby ensuring the barracks became the first British post seized in Ireland since the Easter Rising. He was also involved in the attacks on Cloyne and Castlemartyr RIC Barracks.

Tadhg Manley was ‘very popular, both with the men of the company and the people in general’. He and his colleagues ‘were ever on the alert to strike a blow at the enemy when opportunity offered.’ But the success of Mr. Manley and the other Volunteers from Midleton in East Cork was to prove costly. A company of Cameron Highlanders of the British Army ‘lost no time in commencing hostilities and making things hot and difficult for the Midleton Company.’[5]

Tadgh Manley was captured by a party of Camerons when they raided Mrs. Walsh’s house on Chapel Street, Midleton. He was sentenced to five years ‘penal servitude in connection with the incident at Carrigwohill when revolvers were taken from soldiers at a bowling match’.[6] He was deported to Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight, where he refused to wear jail garb. When James Busby arrived at the prison, “Manley was 'on punishment', meaning he was in solitary confinement on a bread and water diet, for refusing to comply with prison regulations.”[7]

Figure 3: Report of Tadgh Manley's time in prison on the Isle of Wight.

Manley’s stay in jail ended abruptly however. Following negotiations, a truce was formally signed between two members of the Dail cabinet, Robert Barton and Eamon Duggan and British military commander in Ireland, Neville Macready. At noon on 11 July 1921, the guns fell silent and Tadhg Manley and his fellow Volunteers were released from British prisons travelling home across the Irish Sea.

A free man, Mr. Manley arrived in Upper Glanmire National School in 1922, succeeding Headmaster Mr. Dealy. In the 1920s, the school had two teachers and two rooms catering for approximately 90 pupils. In 1964, when he retired, the school had three teachers and three rooms, the school population was approximately 120. He was also elected to Dáil Éireann in 1954 as the Fine Gael representative for the Cork South constituency, and re-elected at the 1957 general election.

Figure 4: From Upper Glanmire National School Roll Book written by Mr. Manley in 1952.

Mr. Manley died on 25 August 1976 and was buried in Dunbullogue Cemetery. According to the Cork Examiner ‘the huge attendance at the funeral was representative of every facet of life in which he had been involved’ and his coffin was draped with the Tricolour.[8] A past people recalled that ‘the most popular time of the day was the comhradh … we got to know the headmaster best at these sessions and while some pupils may have feared Mr. Manley, he was greatly admired by all for his integrity and idealism.’[9]

Figure 5: Grave of Tadhg Manley, Teacher and Soldier, Dunbullogue Graveyard, Cork.

[1] Irish Examiner 24 July 1964 [2] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Cork/Ballinaglough/Ballinaglough_East/1100872/ [3] http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Cork/Cork_No__4_Urban__part_of_/Maddens_Buildings/388435/ [4] Witness Statement of Thomas P. Waters, http://www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/bureau-of-military-history-1913-1921/reels/bmh/BMH.WS1597.pdf [5] Witness Statement of Patrick J. Whelan, http://www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/bureau-of-military-history-1913-1921/reels/bmh/BMH.WS1449.pdf [6] Irish Independent, 23 August 1920 [7] Witness Statement of James A. Busby, http://www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/bureau-of-military-history-1913-1921/reels/bmh/BMH.WS1628.pdf [8] Irish Examiner, 26 August 1976 [9] History of Upper Glanmire National School (special edition on the opening of St. Michael’s National School).

#IrishRevolution #IrishHistory #CorkHistory #CorkLives

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